Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

Alteration Ritual Spell is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in which the Dragonborn must harvest and bring dragon heartscales to Tolfdir at the College of Winterhold in order to be taught a master Alteration spell.


"Tolfdir is working on a new Master Alteration spell, and has asked for my help. He wants to study dragon heartscales, but in order to collect them I'll first need to obtain a special dagger known as Kahvozein's Fang."


  1. Use Kavohzein's Fang to collect Heartscales
  2. Bring Dragon Heartscales to Tolfdir


Once reaching an Alteration level of 90, speaking with Tolfdir will reveal an option regarding learning more about Alteration magic. Select it, and Tolfdir will mention that he may be able to help if provided with dragon heartscales. However, the only weapon able to procure heart scales from a dragon is Kahvozein's Fang, prompting Tolfdir to ask the Dragonborn to retrieve the weapon.

Is there anything more I can learn about Alteration magic? "At this very moment? No. Well, I've been working on something. An improvement on the Ebonyflesh spell. I've made progress, but then hit a snag. I think perhaps you could help."

What's the problem? "I need dragon scales. But not just any dragon scales."
How can I help? "I need you to collect some dragon scales. And not just any dragon scales."
"As I've said, I made some progress using the essence of dragon scales. But they're just not quite potent enough. My knowledge of Skyrim's history is far from complete, but I did some research and discovered two things. First, there are ancient references to dragon "heartscales". What little I could learn suggests they may be what I need. Second, there are stories of a dagger called Kahvozein's Fang, said to be sharp enough to carve individual scales off a dragon. First you'll need to retrieve the dagger, then use it to carve a few scales off a dragon. Presumably a deceased one."
I was just asking. I didn't really want to be involved. "Ah, well now you can help me directly! Far more useful, I think. Please do let me know if you change your mind."
I'll return shortly with the dragon scales. "That would be wonderful. I'll be sure and have everything ready. This is exciting, isn't it?:
Is there anything you can tell me about the dagger? "Not much, I'm afraid. It was named Kahvozein's Fang after the dragon worshipped by this particular sect of the cult. They were said to be quite fond of ritual sacrifices. So fond, in fact, that the high priest spent a great deal of time sharpening the dagger. That way it was always ready for the next inevitable victim. Perhaps not the brightest spot in Skyrim's history, eh?"
How do I collect these dragon scales for you? "Not just any dragon scales. Heartscales. Very special. You'll need Kahvozein's Fang, of course. Then, if you should happen upon the corpse of a dragon, you should be able to use it to slice off a heartscale or two. Even just one should be enough for me to complete my research."

Finding Kahvozein's Fang[]

Due to Skyrim's radiant quest system, there are several locations in which the dagger may spawn. It will most likely be in a Nordic tomb with a Dragon Priest present, such as Volskygge, Ragnvald, High Gate Ruins or Forelhost.

Retrieving the Heartscales[]

Once Kahvozein's Fang is obtained, it must be equipped in the right hand (it does not work when equipped in the left hand), then examine a dragon's corpse (it does not matter whether it has been recently slain or previously killed). This will eventually yield dragon heartscales.

It is possible to gather heartscales from a dragon that has been turned to ash.

It is not possible to gather heartscales from the Skeletal Dragon during the quest "The Staff of Magnus." The same applies to Krosulhah that appears in Dragonborn.


Bring the heartscales back to Tolfdir, and he will reward the Dragonborn's efforts with the spell tome Dragonhide, which allows one to ignore 80% of all physical damage for 30 seconds. In addition, the spell tome Mass Paralysis becomes available for purchase upon completion of the quest.

Here's your heartscale. "Wonderful, Just wonderful! And it's just as I suspected. The energies need to be channelled back through the nexus a second and third time... And that's it. I certainly think you deserve the first copy of the tome. Use it well!"


Alteration Ritual Spell – MGRitual05
ID Journal Entry
10 Tolfdir is working on a new Master Alteration spell, and has asked for my help. He wants to study dragon heartscales, but in order to collect them I'll first need to obtain a special dagger known as Kahvozein's Fang.
  • Objective 10: Use Kavohzein's [sic] [Do not change this to
    . This misspelled word is how it appears in-game.]
    Fang to collect Heartscales
20 At Tolfdir's request, I've used Kahvozein's Fang to collect dragon heartscales. Hopefully this will help him to create the new Alteration spell he's been working on.
  • Objective 20: Bring Dragon Heartscales to Tolfdir
200 I've assisted Tolfdir in his research by collecting dragon heartscales, which he needed to figure out a new Alteration spell. As a reward for helping him, he's given me the first copy of the tome.
  • Quest complete


  • It is possible to find Kahvozein's Fang and collect heartscales from a dragon's corpse before the quest is given to the player.
  • Heartscales can be harvested from dead dragons after completion of the quest but cannot be used for crafting. They can be sold to merchants however, as they are no longer considered quest items.
  • "Dragon Rising" does not need to be completed in order to obtain the quest, but must be done so in order to find a dragon to harvest heartscales from. However, the Dragonborn can obtain heartscales from Vulthuryol.
  • If the player resets their Alteration skill using the legendary mechanic after starting the quest, they will not be able to complete it until they reach level 90 again.
  • The quest is mistakenly decorated with the side quest knotwork instead of the correct College of Winterhold knotwork as seen in all other College of Winterhold quests.


This section contains bugs related to Alteration Ritual Spell. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  /  XB1  ,  PS3  /  PS4  ,  PC  /  MAC  ,  NX  /  PS5  ,  XS  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  • Initiating the quest while Tolfdir is still standing outside Saarthal will cause the game to regard this as an ordinary quest, rather than as one related to the College of Winterhold. It will show up in the quest list with the default quest heading and will not count toward the number of College quests completed on the info screen. Sometimes, this can also happen even if Tolfdir is spoken to back at the College.
  • It is possible to initiate the quest before starting "Dragon Rising," but it would be impossible to complete it before "Dragon Rising" as no dragon corpses are available yet.
    • Dragon heartscales cannot be harvested from Mirmulnir or skeletal dragons.
    • A fix for this is luring a Draugr Overlord near one of the Blackreach lifts, using Dread Zombie to get it inside. Once inside, it can be attacked and its Unrelenting Force shout will release Vulthuryol, whose soul can be absorbed and its heartscales looted.
  •  PC   360   PS3   Sometimes Kahvozein's Fang can be acquired while the Alteration skill is as low as 30. The dagger will be marked as a quest item and can only be removed by placing it on a weapons rack until the quest is completed.
  • Sometimes the dialogue option to give Tolfdir the heartscales will not show up. The cause is making Alteration legendary. To fix this, level up Alteration until it is level 90 again, then speak to Tolfdir.